2019-04-09: The Pyres that Fly

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  • Log: The Pyres that Fly
  • Cast: Riesenlied, Noeline, Isolde, Amaterasu
  • Where: Luca
  • Date: 9th April 2019
  • Summary: Riesenlied and Noeline visit the game, but Fiends attack. Joined by Isolde and Amaterasu, they work their way through the city.


DG: A party led by Riesenlied is now entering Fiend Assault on Luca.

DG: Party formation is now over. An Entry Challenge will now be drawn and displayed to the party.

=========================<* Fiend Assault on Luca *>==========================
====================<* CHALLENGE - An Animated Arrival *>=====================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 3          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 It begins suddenly. The air about the people here is energized and excited.   
 The match between the Besaid Aurochs (astoundingly) and the Luca Goers is     
 underway, in the huge sphere of water that acts as the court. Barkers in the  
 stands offered shrimp tempura on sticks, while people supporting both teams   
 cheer loudly.                                                                 
                                                                               
 At first, one might not notice when the fiends appear. The first shriek of a  
 bird blends into the crowds... until a swirl of pyreflies coalesces into a    
 huge, swooping fiend. A Garuda -- a bird with massive wings and a terrible    
 maw, rather than a beak -- swoops down from the sky. It slams down into the   
 space across the stadium... but there is soon something larger at work. A     
 chain smashes down from a glowing, black portal -- and pulls forth a bound,   
 tall creature. Wrapped in bandages, vaguely fish-like, Anima rises from the   
 ground and lets out a most piercing shriek.                                   
                                                                               
 A gout of flame from this new creature, towering nearly over the stadium and  
 with green eyes aglow behind stained bandages. It turns, screaming down at    
 the fiends and those present.                                                 
                                                                               
 "Maester Seymour's Aeon!" a voice from the crowd cries. Hopefully, you have   
 not thought to attack it -- for it may well direct its wrath on you if so --  
 and with a furious, unearthly blast of light that will sear into your bones.  
                                                                               
 Flight would be wise.                                                         
=Dungeon Conditions: Suffer, Exhaust, Reckless================================

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riesenlied certainly wasn't expecting a lot of excitement or danger in her day, though she probably should've been better on guard; Luca's streets and bustling crowds alone are something of an exhausting adventure for her already, with Noeline, Moccy and Maya having to compensate for her getting bumped around and pushed on her wheelchair. Some parts of the city are less accessible than others!

But they've decided now to come visit the stadium, because why not visit the centrepiece of the city while you're there? Even if Riesenlied isn't sure what Blitzball entails or--

"H-hwaa, that man just tackled that Ronso--" Riesenlied covers her eyes and puts her horns ontop. The crowd cheers. Riesenlied peeks, as her horn wags upwards. "It's even more, um, physical than the soccer Lydia and the children back home played," Riesenlied muses, seeming to at least be affected by some of the energy and cheer of the crowds around them. She giggles softly, before--

  • SHRIEK*

"Uh..."

A bird emerges from a powerful cloud of pyreflies, a Garuda swooping down from the sky and slamming to the space across the stadium. People begin to scream and cry as sportsgoers begin to flee. "What--"

The people around her start to jostle, and she yelps as she clings onto her chair armrest to go, "Noeline!" as a massive anchor slams onto the ground and into a portal not far from her.

The Dragon's Tear starts to shimmer.

What emerges is a powerful creature in bandages, vaguely fish-like in shape, eyes gleaming as it huddles and awaits the dark anchor to draw it up onto the space around it and its enemies.

What is this... feeling? It feels like--

Master Seymour's Aeon!

It turns its green eye and *bursts* a nearby wolf-like Fiend going her way; Riesenlied yelps further and tumbles down onto the ground, looking around her. "W-wait, don't attack it, I think it's--"

I feel... your pain...? Your suffering...

She grapples for the seat of her wheelchair groggily. "We'd best help people evacuate..."

DG: You use your Tool Heritor's Regalia against your party's Challenge, An Animated Arrival!

DG: Riesenlied has used her Tool Heritor's Regalia toward her party's challenge, An Animated Arrival.

<Pose Tracker> Isolde has posed.

ISOLDE had come back to the stadium after the affray against the Al Bhed on the docks. While it would be wrong to say that she was a hero, she has gotten some consideration for putting her buns on the line for a summoner, and is seated near the announcers with several other people who might otherwise have difficulty 'viewing' the game.

For the most part, Isolde has been listening along and eating candy coated popcorn, colorful festival dumplings on skewers, tempura shrimps... during half time she tried to teach the old man next to her a dice game, but he couldn't hear well, and so instead she just ended up playing with her dice. When things begin, she has just gotten an adobo-style yakitori skewer...

People scream. People carry on. Something has clearly gone wrong. Isolde gets up from her bench seat, munching the last of her chicken meat (sorry Riese) as things continue forwards. There is a dark feeling that roars in front of her, like a whirlpool...

She frowns. The skewer is dropped, and she rests a hand on her blade, untying the colorful peace yarn - and pausing as she hears someone nearby speak.

"Help?" she says.

Turning her head, Isolde continues. "Help? Hah! I love it, darling. Here, you're in a chair, aren't you? Does it have a chock in place?" She gives the arm of the old man she was seated next to a tug, or tries to, but that old man was deaf, not dumb, and is already hustling out the other side of the section.

"These beasts will probably come this way soon enough," Isolde muses. "They'll think we're easy prey."


DG: Isolde has used her Tool Cubic Prisms of Stochasticism toward her party's challenge, An Animated Arrival.

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

Noeline has at least eventually managed to get Riesenlied safely into the stadium, even if it involved some lifting and carrying along the way; fortunately, she's quite pleased to see that the default attitude of Spirans is 'friendly and helpful', and before long they've got themselves a little spot in the standing section where her wheelchair can fit and be nudged up to the railing.

Leaning on the back of it, the Crimson Notble has been practically chuckling to herself all game, alternating between trying to figure out the odd new game and being endlessly entertained by it. "I suppose that would be because of the water. Less need to worry about impacts when there's no need to worry about the ground, I suppose--" but she cuts herself off with a surprised snort as one athlete gets bodied right out of the sphere, landing in the net that surrounds the centrepiece.

"Lydie would love it," she decides, unable to avoid the laugh that bubbles up in her throat.

But then the hair on the back of her neck stands on end as she hears the tone of the crowd shift and feels a murmur run across it, and before she can register the presence of the Garuda slamming down nearby she's already got her hands on the handlebars of Riesenlied's wheelchair ready to pull her back towards safety.

"Perhaps we can find one region somewhere that is not beset by monsters?" she huffs to herself, grimacing a little. She's not dressed for battle - and while she's surely tougher than most of the stadium-goers, it's more about trying to be the centre of attention so she can help direct people's attention, rather than worried about whether or not she'll get hurt. "But, you're right - at the very least, I don't see too many of them--"

When she cuts herself off for the second time it's because of the sensation that runs over her, transmitted from the Dragon's Tear over her link. Despite herself, she shivers slightly as the ephemeral creature is drawn from its portal, staring in its direction for a moment before she comes to the same conclusion as it decimates a nearby Fiend.

"That is /quite/ the friendly summon," she mutters to herself as she shakes herself out of it, scooping Riesenlied up and back into her chair with a wince, then puffs out a breath as she hops up onto a nearby chair. "All of you, the Summoners have things under control! Get out of here!"

DG: Noeline has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, An Animated Arrival.

<Pose Tracker> Amaterasu has posed.

Amaterasu had received one (1) ticket to the finals, perhaps as a sort of reward for assisting in that attack. It's a fair enough gesture, though in all honesty her satisfaction had been found more in testing herself against an unknown foe than the outcome that had resulted (specifically, the rescue of a certain Lady Yuna). Still, it would be improper to refuse a gift and...

Here she is now, an awkward sight in the stands. For various reasons -- the armor she refused to remove among them -- she is seated somewhat more to the back and out of the way. Hardly prime seating for a savior of the Summoner, but when you are a woman who stands a full head or more among most of the resident population, well...

If Amaterasu minds this at all, she comments on it not, instead watching the game unfold from her seat. Oh and eat some of the food they sell here -- apparently this is 'gratis' for /her/ with the ticket, which is good, because she doesn't know what the local currency is or cares. It tastes better than the rations she had been subsisting on since arrival. The buns are particularly nice.

A game like this takes her back to her Locus Solus days. Though the actual 'space' had been simulated rather than real on the ship.

Something swoops in from overhead. Immediately, the old soldier is on her feet. "Tch--"

Before the arrival of the 'creature' (Anima, that is) makes short sorry work of the unfortunate Fiend. The crowd scatters.

Amaterasu makes a leap over a good two rows of seating, then proceeds to race downwards as the crowd streams past her. Her gaze is for Anima and Anima alone.

Is she really intending to--?

She whirls about then once she reaches the choke-point in the stadium, polearm extending in her grasp. This she slams downwards, butt-first, and for the seating.

In her own direct, destructive way... Amaterasu works to clear a path.

"This way! Move!"

DG: Amaterasu has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, An Animated Arrival.

=========================<* Fiend Assault on Luca *>==========================
====================<* CHALLENGE - An Animated Arrival *>=====================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 3          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 It begins suddenly. The air about the people here is energized and excited.   
 The match between the Besaid Aurochs (astoundingly) and the Luca Goers is     
 underway, in the huge sphere of water that acts as the court. Barkers in the  
 stands offered shrimp tempura on sticks, while people supporting both teams   
 cheer loudly.                                                                 
                                                                               
 At first, one might not notice when the fiends appear. The first shriek of a  
 bird blends into the crowds... until a swirl of pyreflies coalesces into a    
 huge, swooping fiend. A Garuda -- a bird with massive wings and a terrible    
 maw, rather than a beak -- swoops down from the sky. It slams down into the   
 space across the stadium... but there is soon something larger at work. A     
 chain smashes down from a glowing, black portal -- and pulls forth a bound,   
 tall creature. Wrapped in bandages, vaguely fish-like, Anima rises from the   
 ground and lets out a most piercing shriek.                                   
                                                                               
 A gout of flame from this new creature, towering nearly over the stadium and  
 with green eyes aglow behind stained bandages. It turns, screaming down at    
 the fiends and those present.                                                 
                                                                               
 "Maester Seymour's Aeon!" a voice from the crowd cries. Hopefully, you have   
 not thought to attack it -- for it may well direct its wrath on you if so --  
 and with a furious, unearthly blast of light that will sear into your bones.  
                                                                               
 Flight would be wise.                                                         
=Dungeon Conditions: Suffer, Exhaust, Reckless================================
====================<* Fiend Assault on Luca - Round 1 *>=====================
======================< Results - An Animated Arrival >=======================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Riesenlied                          0 --(30)--> 30                 Fail
Heritor's Regalia                   3   Wits    Effects: Rally                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Amaterasu                           0 --(30)--> 30                 Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Isolde                              0 --(30)--> 30                 Fail
Cubic Prisms of Stochasticism       1   Wits    Effects: Cleanse              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Noeline                             0 --(30)--> 30                 Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Riesenlied                  0 --(10)--> 10                 Fail
Conditions: Exhaust(1)|Reckless(2)|Suffer(1)
Effects: Cleanse
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================

DG: The party led by Riesenlied has failed this challenge! The party gained 10 exploration! If anyone needs to use party management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

On the flipside, the Aeon has the situation well under control, with any and all of the Fiends foolish enough to come into its field of vision exploding into a shower of pyreflies as its powerful gaze *sears* into their bones.

On the other hand, Riesenlied's not really functioned for danger right now, and it's with Isolde's chuckle as she murmurs, "There was a-- here--" she looks down towards some of the levers on her chair. She honestly hasn't figured it out completely, though she watches gratefully as Isolde moves an old man out of the way of trouble.

Noeline calls for attention, and several people gratefully call out in turn as some of them exclaim, "Thank Yevon!" "Oh, thank the Maester!" as they flee;

Riesenlied blinks though, as a blur rushes over her--

"K-Kaguya?"

--wait, no, she's incredibly tall; so why did she think-- she she shakes her head as Amaterasu rips through several creatures on her own and declares more avenues of safety.

The very air is burdensome with the presence of the Aeon, but at least they evacuate enough people to cut a way through themselves. Riesenlied shuffles along with Noeline's help on her chair, best as is able. "I don't know enough about the city to know of where they should evacuate, but... we should try regardless. Thank you," she looks to Isolde nearby, and Amaterasu when she comes close.

"My name's Riesenlied... let's work together to help the people."

Then she doubles over coughing as a searing burst of pain comes in her mind, sensing the Aeon again.

DG: Isolde has drawn a new Challenge.

=========================<* Fiend Assault on Luca *>==========================
=======================<* CHALLENGE - Sahuagin Swarm *>=======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The fish-like, scaled humanoid fiends known as Sahuagin are not individually  
 dangerous. Their claws are sharp and fangs capable of biting; they can also   
 summon water spells at a whim, crashing down gouts of water on someone's      
 head. The danger, really, is in the numbers.                                  
                                                                               
 As you run through Luca's streets, whether to escape or help, there are       
 several gutteral screeches -- and then no less than a dozen Sahuagin leap     
 down into your midst, slashing with claws and screeching all the while!       
=Dungeon Conditions: Weaken, Fright, Tire=====================================

<Pose Tracker> Isolde has posed.

"Well, she's a tall lady, isn't she?" Isolde observes as Amaterasu moves past them, shouting in guidance. To Noeline, she says, "I'll support you if you're giving a push," and to accent this, she draws out her sword. Same hand, too. It's a reverse grip! Like it's a giant knife!

She does give Riesenlied and Noeline a pace's distance as they move forwards.

Up the ramp... down into the path... And in the broad halls of the stadium, the ad-hoc party is confronted by a cluster of sahuagin. They gibber cheerfully. One of them, proud of itself, makes a gesture normally reserved for the Vile Tribe at Riesenlied... with both hands!

Isolde can sense this rudeness despite her lack of sight and frowns.

"I'm quite glad to meet all of you," she says, stepping forwards, and to the right, of the group. One of the Fiends senses weakness and leaps, which is when Isolde twists around and stabs that back-held bastard sword into its belly and - ooh! Pyreflies came out!

"That's different," Isolde says, as some pyreflies brush against her cheek. Twisting round, she tosses the sword in the air and catches it in a proper grip, just in time to parry a follow-up attempt to claw/claw/bite!

"Call me Isolde, by the way," she adds.


DG: Isolde has used her Tool Travelling Sword toward her party's challenge, Sahuagin Swarm.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riesenlied seems to be struggling a little with how the pyreflies flow /into/ the creatures, then back out again; for a moment, she jitters and twitches, horns wiggling as she holds the sides of her head, "What are you all-- telling me...? You are all in such... pain--"

Her eyes widen as the sahuagin ramp up around them, trying to rummage around. "I don't have Jacqueline's brew on me... I do not think I will be able to--"

The sahuagin leap to the attack, but Isolde with her back-gripped sword slashes one apart before she can be assailed. "So strong..." Riesenlied murmurs, to hold a sword in that style.

She focuses on the Medium as the thrum of-- of-- not quite the Ley; it all feels incredibly faint and distant, and everything is difficult.

But she still has her own sense of empathy as she reaches to the nearest of sahuagin. "Be calm..." she expresses, eyes radiating with a soft, luminous glow. "I can feel your pain. So please..."

DG: You use your Tool Rings of Promise against your party's Challenge, Sahuagin Swarm!

DG: Riesenlied has used her Tool Rings of Promise toward her party's challenge, Sahuagin Swarm.

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

A tall warrior in full armor cuts through the Fiends ahead of them, while Isolde joins at their side; the added assistance is definitely a source of some relief for Noeline, who propels Riesenlied's chair forwards with one hand as she summons her own weapon to her hand. It is easily the size of her, thick white metal that probably counts more as a slab than a sword - and yet she holds it easily in one hand herself, planting it just ahead of the wheelchair to act as an impromptu battering ram.

"Noeline. Would this were a better time," she replies to the greeting with a nod and a brief smirk, before tilting her head towards the other Hyadean in the chair. It's impossible for her to miss the way in which Riesenlied has begun to radiate with the power of the Tear in her attempts to empathize and communicate with the Fiends; the sensation of it tickles at the back of her head. "This is Riesenlied. She may need a moment.

"Don't worry. I've got your back," she adds privately as she places a hand on her beloved's shoulder, offering her the warmth of her presence for just a moment in an attempt to bolster her.

And it seems to be true, in a very literal sense. There's a growl from behind the both of them - but no sooner has the Wolf leapt at the robed pair than Noeline has wrenched her sword around, a thrum of air heralding the way it sweeps through the intervening space. The strike is not exactly a lethal one - perhaps it's her way of honouring Riesenlied's wishes to not use the edge of the blade, preferring instead to bash things aside with the flat - but it does send the first of the creatures positively flying back with a stunned yelp.

DG: Noeline has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Sahuagin Swarm.

<Pose Tracker> Amaterasu has posed.

The being's (Anima, again) presence weights heavily on the soul. Yet, when it comes to breaking things to make way, Amaterasu does not falter -- even should beams or traces of the Aeon's intent cut far, far too close. She casts but one glance back over her shoulder at the Aeon upon departure with the rest of the stragglers. It is into here that Riesenlied introduces herself.

"Amaterasu. Hm, I do not think this intrusion is limited to here." And then she regards Riesenlied critically for a moment or two more.

"...You called me 'Kaguya' before. Is she here?" asks the tall woman with a certain resemblance to the much smaller Veruni. Before Riesenlied doubles over, that is.

"Hm. Your friend seems unwell," she remarks to Noeline, only to nod when the woman suggests Riesenlied will need a moment. Her gaze narrows as she moves ahead, gripping her weapon now with both hands.

"...Careful. They are among us," she remarks, before the corridor ahead reveals...

"Aha," she murmurs. Her green eyes glint in the light, briefly.

The faceplate slams into place, its glow brilliant in this place. Veering left, she storms into a small crowd of the Fiends, raking the light-bladed polearm in a horizontal arc as if they were hay and she the reaper.

DG: Amaterasu has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Sahuagin Swarm.

=========================<* Fiend Assault on Luca *>==========================
=======================<* CHALLENGE - Sahuagin Swarm *>=======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The fish-like, scaled humanoid fiends known as Sahuagin are not individually  
 dangerous. Their claws are sharp and fangs capable of biting; they can also   
 summon water spells at a whim, crashing down gouts of water on someone's      
 head. The danger, really, is in the numbers.                                  
                                                                               
 As you run through Luca's streets, whether to escape or help, there are       
 several gutteral screeches -- and then no less than a dozen Sahuagin leap     
 down into your midst, slashing with claws and screeching all the while!       
=Dungeon Conditions: Weaken, Fright, Tire=====================================
====================<* Fiend Assault on Luca - Round 2 *>=====================
=========================< Results - Sahuagin Swarm >=========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Riesenlied                          30 --(3)--> 33                 Pass
Rings of Promise                    4   Combat  Effects: Efficient and Fanfare
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Amaterasu                           30 --(3)--> 33                 Pass
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Isolde                              30 --(3)--> 33                 Pass
Travelling Sword                    3   Combat  Effects: Rally                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Noeline                             30 --(8)--> 38                 Fail
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Riesenlied                  10 --(20)--> 30                Pass
Conditions: Fright(2)|Reckless(1)|Tire(2)|Weaken(2)
Effects: 
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================

DG: The party led by Riesenlied has passed this challenge! The party gained 20 exploration! If anyone needs to use party management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.

<Pose Tracker> Isolde has posed.

The creatures suffer... their pain is apparent to Riesenlied... and in the middle distance, a squad of Sahaguin, perhaps intent on joining this hunt for easy meat, pauses. They hesitate.

They turn down one stadium-row early. Perhaps they fear Riesenlied's pressure, or perhaps... maybe... their hearts can be moved...! (The one that Noeline bonks retreats similarly, although it seems to be tacking for an abandoned sutler's rack laden with grilled shrimps.)

Isolde weaves and ducks and seems to have learned to go for belly shots a lot. This is grisly, if less so given that the Fiends, when thus disemboweled, do not hang around and complain, but instead degenerate into pyreflies, leaving only the occasional scale or fang behind.

"Oh, it's so true," Isolde answers Noeline. "I have to say that sometimes I regret taking that job across the water back in Adelhyde, but on the other hand, I've met so many wonnnnderful people!~!" And this is punctuated with a circling two-handed swing that separates the head of one sahaguin from the rest of that creature. The head bounces once, frowns, and then poof-piffs into Pyreflies, like the rest.

Isolde dabs sweat from her forehead.

"Speaking of wonderful people," Isolde says, "I imagine this building is a death trap, but I will be frank with you that I have absolutely no idea how to leave it in an orderly manner. I'm going to have to put my trust in all of you, and I hope that isn't too off putting when we've only just met."


DG: Noeline has drawn a new Challenge.

=========================<* Fiend Assault on Luca *>==========================
===================<* CHALLENGE - To Quell the Panicked *>====================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The people of Luca are panicking in the streets. While the Warrior Monks and  
 Crusaders are helping where they can, they cannot be everywhere. As you run   
 into this next street, you find that people have amassed around a gate        
 ahead. It has been closed, and they shout and call out to each other -- and   
 generally look quite agitated.                                                
                                                                               
 "We're trapped in here!"                                                      
 "We need to make for the port!"                                               
 "No, you fool! For the Highroad!"                                             
                                                                               
 Perhaps some diplomacy -- or maybe some quick thinking -- can either get you  
 around the crowd blocking the way, or get the crowd to move along.            
=Dungeon Conditions: Stupify, Tire, Weaken====================================

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

"Not unwell, so much as-- concentrating," Noeline points out to the taller woman, and while she's not entirely sure whether Amaterasu is a Veruni or not at first, the question about Kaguya soon puts that uncertainty to rest. With a quiet sigh of exertion as she hauls her blade back to her shoulder, Noeline's crimson eyes glittering in amusement as she shrugs one shoulder. "We know where Kaguya is only in the most loose of senses. She is on Lunar - whether she has come to Spira, we cannot say."

A pause as she judges how much time they have and how safe they are, and then she lets her fangs show for just a moment as she grins pleasantly. "If you happen to see her, do let her know her mothers hope she's doing okay, and that maybe she should call once in a while."

Isolde gets a quick nod, and Noeline chuckles again under her breath. "I roughly know the route - but perhaps it would just be best to follow the sea of people and let ourselves get swept along. At the very least, it would be easier to protect as many as we can if we stick with them."

On the face of it it's perfectly sound logic, especially when Noeline dismisses her sword to more readily wheel Riesenlied safely down the ramps and through the crowds. Sure enough, it isn't that long before they've passed the main walls of the stadium into the ring of streets around it - which is success of a sort, at least until she realizes that this just means there's more space for people to spread out and panic in.

Her brow furrows - but this isn't the first time she and Riesenlied have helped to evacuate the city. Trusting in Riesenlied's ability to help quell people's fear, Noeline stands tall(-ish) next to her. "The Wayside Outreach has a camp set up just down the Highroad! They will be able to treat any wounded that Luca cannot - head in that direction if you do not know where else to go!" she calls over the crowd, wincing a little as she hopes they have the supplies to cope.

DG: Noeline has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, To Quell the Panicked.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

"I'll try to not slow us down," Riesenlied speaks inbetween lessening whimpers as her coughing fit stops. "The air here is so-- thick with the presence of..."

Souls? Riesenlied isn't quite certain. The way the pyreflies fly and dance about, the echoes that touch her mind certainly remind her a lot of what she spiritually sense back home, but something feels a bit /different/--

Amaterasu, Isolde and Noeline compensate for her lack of physical ableness, something she's grateful for. She mentions Adlehyde. "Oh... are you from Filgaia as well, Miss Isolde?" Riesenlied sounds a bit surprised, perhaps not assuming those that've leapt to action is a Drifter.

But Amaterasu also brings something up, with Riesenlied blinking a few times.

"Y-you know her?" Riesenlied blurts out. "No, I haven't seen Kaguya in a long time... oh, I hope she's all right, though," she tilts her head. "The last time would have been in Glenwood..."

She squiggles a little as Noeline lets loose with the business of momming over Kaguya, whining, "T-that's not something to just say to anyone, right...??"

She's wheeled forward along with so many other people, though; she's not certain whether she's unwell or concentrating. They tend to go hand in hand, what with the echo of the pyreflies -and- the people fleeing. It's a high-density area, difficult for an empath like her.

"There is a ship with the head of a Dragon moored nearby--" she joins in with Noeline's instructions. "We will happily assist with whoever needs--"

One woman looks at her. "F-Fiend?!" she flees.

"Huh? W-wait, I'm--"

"Tiny Ronso!"

Riesenlied's horns wilt.

"Limp Ronso??"

"... wah..."

DG: Riesenlied has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, To Quell the Panicked.

<Pose Tracker> Isolde has posed.

Isolde lets out a wistful sigh when Noeline brings up that she is the mother of Kaguya. This is committed to memory in her head and will never change going forwards. Riesenlied is also involved in this process but Isolde is not picking up as much on Riesenlied's groove.

"It's a long story," Isolde tells Riesenlied, "but I came HERE from Filgaia... let's leave it like that, hm? I would hate to have to tell you that I was from some sort of far-off star underneath the ban of a Star-goddess, and then be forced to use my powers to dispel your memories... memories are precious!"

They encounter a group, then. Isolde hears their words even if she can't feel their hearts. They seem agitated... and split between two individual options. ("You have a ship? Posh," Isolde tells Riesenlied quietly.) Then she adds, "Pardon me," feels along the arm rests of Riesenlied's chair, and then -

Climbs up??

Having gotten up there, she starts to waggle her sword back and forth, as if to signal for quiet. When the furor fades, she speaks, with clasped hands. "Thank you! - To answer your question," this to the woman, "I assume it's a health thing. We met one another in the invalids' section, so I hope you won't give in to your fears."

"Now then," Isolde continues. "We are faced - with two choices!"

yeah...?

"And it's impossible for us to decide which to take quickly!"

yeah...

"And yet, we must decide, because if we don't move together, we will all move separately - to... the Farplane!"

Isolde reaches into a pocket and palms something.

"To hesitate is death. Even if we choose wrongly, we'll be moving together. There is strength in numbers. But to avoid splitting, I propose -"

Her hand comes out, and between her fingers are three fat dice with red-painted dots. Facing the crowd is 1, 6 and 1.

"We roll 'em," Isolde declaims. "Odds for the port, evens for the Highroad! Someone clear a space," and then she hops off of Riesenlied's chair, shaking the dice vigorously. "And let's - see - our - fate!"

The dice are thumped down abruptly. Isolde covers them with her palm...

And then lifts it up abruptly. 4-2-6

"Someone tell me what it is," she continues, before turning her head to face Riesenlied, tilt her head to the side ten degrees, then straighten back up.

Internally, Isolde thinks: If they have a ship that's the obvious choice, and none of them have screamed about Sin, so that should be clear.


DG: Isolde has used her Tool Cubic Prisms of Stochasticism toward her party's challenge, To Quell the Panicked.

<Pose Tracker> Amaterasu has posed.

As the last Pyrefly flutters away, Amaterasu's faceplate unfolds once more. With a twist of the wrist, she sends the laser-like blade of Valkyrja back into oblivion and the rest of the polearm soon follows similar-enough suit: it folds up into a more-compact form, which she then tucks away.

"So I understand," Amaterasu states. "I know that she is on Lunar. Whether or not she is 'here'..." She stands, resolute for a moment. "If she is not in 'Spira', then I will go to wherever she may be." Even if she knew what a great distance that would be, it's doubtful she would make any other statement.

And then Noeline grins. Makes that particular quip. Amaterasu may as well be a stone statue. "Yes. Our mother /would/ like to know how she has been," she says, with that particular bit of salt only siblings can quite manage for one another. Which, speaking of:

"Yes," she answers Rieselied. "She is my younger sister."

Awkward.

It isn't much long before they meet with the crowd, clambering at the gates.

"Hmph," Amaterasu says, mild irritation coloring typically impassive features. "Do it or don't. Arguing about it is useless," is her comment as regards the question of the hour. "Make your decision and then carry on. But do it quickly."

Isolde, fortunately, has a more direct ways of setting the question, through none other than willful fate itself. "Oh? This may be interesting," she remarks, standing aside as Isolde addresses the crowd...

And rolls the bones, so to speak. Amaterasu tilts her head to take a look.

"Four, two, six. Evens. To the road go you all," the soldier decrees.

DG: Amaterasu has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, To Quell the Panicked.

=========================<* Fiend Assault on Luca *>==========================
===================<* CHALLENGE - To Quell the Panicked *>====================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 The people of Luca are panicking in the streets. While the Warrior Monks and  
 Crusaders are helping where they can, they cannot be everywhere. As you run   
 into this next street, you find that people have amassed around a gate        
 ahead. It has been closed, and they shout and call out to each other -- and   
 generally look quite agitated.                                                
                                                                               
 "We're trapped in here!"                                                      
 "We need to make for the port!"                                               
 "No, you fool! For the Highroad!"                                             
                                                                               
 Perhaps some diplomacy -- or maybe some quick thinking -- can either get you  
 around the crowd blocking the way, or get the crowd to move along.            
=Dungeon Conditions: Stupify, Tire, Weaken====================================
====================<* Fiend Assault on Luca - Round 3 *>=====================
=====================< Results - To Quell the Panicked >======================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Riesenlied                          33 --(20)--> 53                Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Amaterasu                           33 --(20)--> 53                Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Isolde                              33 --(15)--> 48                Pass
Cubic Prisms of Stochasticism       1   Wits    Effects: Cleanse              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Noeline                             38 --(20)--> 58                Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Riesenlied                  30 --(10)--> 40                Fail
Conditions: Fright(1)|Stupify(2)|Tire(2)|Weaken(2)
Effects: Cleanse
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================

DG: The party led by Riesenlied has failed this challenge! The party gained 10 exploration! If anyone needs to use party management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.

DG: Amaterasu has drawn a new Challenge.

==========================<* Fiend Assault on Luca *>===========================
================<* CHALLENGE - The Broken Spire Comes to You *>=================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 3          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 The same huge, bird-like fiends seen in the stadium are found occasionally    
 swooping through Luca's skies. One of them careens through the air, twisting  
 over itself after a line of Warrior Monks shoot into its flank with their     
 machina rifles. Trailing pyreflies, it slams into one of the tall towers of   
 Luca...                                                                       
                                                                               
 ...and there is a deafening /crack/. The Garuda's body bursts into            
 pyreflies, before the tower it struck leans. Cracks run up through the        
 stone, and then it crumbles down -- a massive stone spire falling free and    
 hurtling straight for the top of your heads.                                  
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Hesitate, Overwhelm================================

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

Riesenlied coughs at first, and then later wilts in the face of the townsfolk once again mistaking her for a Ronso. Noeline, despite the tension of the situation, can't help but chuckle happily to herself - or maybe it's /because/ of the tension of the situation, and the fact that for once the two of them are strictly visitors and observers rather than having rocked up with the Fereshte ready to take responsibility for their relief efforts. Here, it's just a matter of what they can do, and Noeline's happy to go with that.

"It's alright," she does at least say, her smile warm in contrast to the mildly panicked crowd. "Just take care. I've got you, like I said. Slow or not, it doesn't matter."

"It is not /very/ posh," she rejoins to Isolde's comment with a quiet laugh. "It is a little bit ramshackle, in fact, but it is home, and it has been used to save a number of towns in their moments of need. We can be proud of that much.

Noeline's voice and Riesenlied's empathy don't seem to be getting through to the crowd well; there's simply too many people, too much panic around for them to cut through it easily. Fortunately, Isolde's call is a little more arresting, and perhaps the idea of a gamble and a rather unortohdox wager is a draw for the sort of people who would come to Luca to see the blitzball games in person.

As the dice roll, Amaterasu offers a rather flat reply to Noeline's playful air - and the Hyadean grins in a rather guilty fashion, her eyebrows nudging upwards in obvious surprise. "... ah," she says, unable to keep a straight face as she chuckles. "Well. ... yes, we know her well, I suppose you'd say. But I'm afraid we cannot help you right at the moment. Last I checked, she was happy to be here. Filgaia's-- pressures are rather lessened here."

A bit cryptic, but Noeline hopes that will make sense to the Veruni as a reference to VR Syndrome. Besides, Isolde's just thrown her dice--

--and there's a 'glomp' as a Wolf suddenly manifests to eat one of them, plucking it out of the air.

Silence reigns - and then panic spreads even faster. "Nooo!" "What are we supposed to do now..." "Does that mean both?!" come the myriad voices.

<Pose Tracker> Amaterasu has posed.

"So I have been given to understand," Amaterasu states once again, in response to Noeline. "Apparently, she has done well here, particularly in the absense of the... pressures, as you put. Nevertheless. I am her kin. I will be the judge of her... wellbeing."

She turns then to read out the dice numbers, only for a Wolf to suddenly intrude and consume one.

"..."

Amaterasu looks for the moment poleaxed.

Then, shaking her head, states, "The road, then. Two evens is still evens. Or do nothing. It is your decision to make." She turns towards the others. "Come on. There is no helping the indecisive."

The air is thick with Garuda. Some dive to harry the citizens. Others are forced back by the Warrior Monks. It's one of the latter group that, as they attempt to make their way through the street, is winged by a piece of machina and sent slamming into a spire. The Garuda dies on impact. The damage, however, does not end /there/.

A resounding crack that surely echoes across the city rings out. The spire begins to fall. Stone and masonry fall in a rain from overhead.

Amaterasu glances up but once. One heeled boot slams into the street but once. She grabs the person nearest to her -- Isolde, as it happens -- and leaps, ascending briefly into the heavens.

Pieces of the spire fall before the rest of its bulk. Such as, for example, the chunk of stone that Amaterasu alights upon, attaching to the piece as if she were there glued. Then she leaps again. And again, until she's running along the crumbling length of the collapsing spire.

Until she leaps once more for the roof of a nearby building.

All the while she says nothing, which may be somewhat disorienting for her passenger.

DG: Amaterasu has used her Tool All-Surface Boots toward her party's challenge, The Broken Spire Comes to You.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

"Eh? Oh, yes--" Riesenlied speaks out as Isolde-- with a yelp from her! --climbs up onto her chair. Eh, is this really all right? But her words do move her, as she looks down towards the dice and squints but Amaterasu helpfully points out what the numbers are. "Then it's settled...!"

She looks a bit more apologetic but happy to Amaterasu. "You are, really? Oh, I'm glad..." A pause. "We first befriended her on her earliest incursions to Ignas when we took her in. That was... quite a long time ago, I still have fond memories--"

She coughs a bit as she stares at the Wolf who just Ate Dice.

Kin... does that mean Amaterasu is Veruni too? Well, she certainly looks the part, in terms of her physical strength and capability.

Her eyes widen further as Amaterasu grabs hold of Isolde and leaps forward, as the Garuda impacts and crashes against a tower. "Oh no, there's too many people around us..."

She holds onto a triangular beacon, which starts to glow as she channels her inner Nao Toyama. "Come to me, Trask...!"

There's a blinding flash for a brief moment--

And then a giant, sleepy turtle has decided to manifest out of nowhere and just stand there before the people of Luca gathered amongst them and let the rest of the tower crumbling bounce around it.

Trask yawns sleepily, sleep-bubbles popping out of its head.

"Thank you, Trask..." Riesenlied whispers genteely, stroking the side of its belly even as several people mumble and murmur.

"Gilgame...Turtle?" "Adamantoise?"

DG: You use your Tool Trask Beacon against your party's Challenge, The Broken Spire Comes to You!

DG: Riesenlied has used her Tool Trask Beacon toward her party's challenge, The Broken Spire Comes to You.

<Pose Tracker> Isolde has posed.

Isolde loses one of her dice.

She immediately pulls out her blade and in one fluid motion attempts to stab - no, the wolf is already clear. "Damnation!" she curses, before things begin to scream. She takes a deep breath and lets it out, sheathing the blade.

Something cracks.

And then she is grasped, raised, and hoisted - aloft.

Isolde's hair, wrapped as it is into dangling teardrop ringlets like a noblewoman's, flutters in the gale-force wind of passage. She lets out a little 'ah!' and then a small 'hmh~' and then tells Amaterasu, confidentally, "Very kind of you, madam, even if I don't understand half of what you're saying. I hope you can find your sister."

She then leans her head forwards to press her cheek against Amaterasu's, adding confidentally, "You have a kind face" afterwards. She also fishes something out from her coat and raises it to her lips, blowing on the whistle with enthusiastic force -

Which accomplishes relatively little, EXCEPT PERHAPS that the passing people who were milling about and hoping that a Fiend would eat them look up and notice that motion is possible. Follow the -Turtle- and the -Whistle-, and soon you'll find the Boss... (The Boss in this case represents freedom.)


DG: Isolde has used her Tool Enigmatic Whistle toward her party's challenge, The Broken Spire Comes to You.

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

The Crimson Noble - not that she looks much like one right now, rather a shaman or a priest in black-and-red robes more suitable for a shrine than a day out at the blitzball stadium - can't seem to help but be amused, grinning brightly and allowing herself a nod at Amaterasu's words. "Such is the right of an elder sister. Or, sometimes, a younger one," she teases, not sure which one applies here but willing to go either way. "If we learn of anything, we will find a way to let you know."

There is an almighty sound of masonry from above as it cracks and splinters and falls; Noeline starts in surprise as the Veruni girl scoops up their other companion and bounds away, leaving her in the midst of a crowd with her hands on the handles of Riesenlied's wheelchair. Noeline knows she /could/ speed up, if she absolutely wanted to save Riesenlied - but that would be condemning everyone around them to get crushed, and that isn't exactly something she'd like to have happen.

Her hands twitch; for a moment she considers summoning her blade back to her hands and preparing to simply cut as much of the falling stone apart as she can. Fortunately, Riesenlied is on hand instead, summoning Trask to act in breaking the fall of the rubble and protecting the townsfolk below. Letting out a breath, Noeline nods to herself in satisfaction - especially given the way a small silver sphere blinks and flicks around Trask's body, mostly keeping itself out of sight as a series of small laser fire peppers each of the larger pieces of stone, weakening and shattering them before they can even become a problem.

DG: Noeline has used her Tool Strife toward her party's challenge, The Broken Spire Comes to You.

==========================<* Fiend Assault on Luca *>===========================
================<* CHALLENGE - The Broken Spire Comes to You *>=================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 3          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 The same huge, bird-like fiends seen in the stadium are found occasionally    
 swooping through Luca's skies. One of them careens through the air, twisting  
 over itself after a line of Warrior Monks shoot into its flank with their     
 machina rifles. Trailing pyreflies, it slams into one of the tall towers of   
 Luca...                                                                       
                                                                               
 ...and there is a deafening /crack/. The Garuda's body bursts into            
 pyreflies, before the tower it struck leans. Cracks run up through the        
 stone, and then it crumbles down -- a massive stone spire falling free and    
 hurtling straight for the top of your heads.                                  
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Hesitate, Overwhelm================================
=====================<* Fiend Assault on Luca - Round 4 *>======================
==================< Results - The Broken Spire Comes to You >===================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Riesenlied                          53 --(30)--> 83                Fail
Trask Beacon                        4   Agility Effects: Sacrifice and Rally  
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Amaterasu                           53 --(25)--> 78                Pass
All-Surface Boots                   2   Agility Effects: Quicken              
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Isolde                              48 --(30)--> 78                Fail
Enigmatic Whistle                   2   Agility Effects: Quicken              
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Noeline                             58 --(30)--> 88                Fail
Strife                              1   Agility Effects: Cleanse              
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Riesenlied                  40 --(10)--> 50                Fail
Conditions: Hesitate(2)|Overwhelm|Slow(2)
Effects: Cleanse|Quicken(1)
===============================< Dream Chasers >================================

DG: The party led by Riesenlied has failed this challenge! The party gained 10 exploration! If anyone needs to use party management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.


DG: Riesenlied has drawn a new Challenge.

=========================<* Fiend Assault on Luca *>==========================
===============<* CHALLENGE - Getting the Drop on a Garauda *>================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Bridges are not uncommon in Luca. Because so much of the city is built        
 behind massive stone seawalls, the city has to go up sometimes. You find      
 yourself moving up a bridge now, which places you -- strangely enough --      
 /over/ one of those huge, swooping birds. A Garuda is careening down the      
 street below you, swooping at level with it, to get people.                   
                                                                               
 And it is about to fly under the bridge.                                      
                                                                               
 If you collapse the bridge -- or maybe some of the nearby facades or statues  
 -- at the right time (and quickly!), you could crush the Garuda before it     
 sweeps down onto innocents.                                                   
=Dungeon Conditions: Weaken, Injure, Tire=====================================

<Pose Tracker> Amaterasu has posed.

"You did, did you? Hm." Amaterasu appears to be considering what Riesenlied has imparted to her.

Noeline says that she'll send word along. Amaterasu nods, a crisp, military gesture. "My thanks. I have heard from others who had said they had seen her." Pause. "Back in 'Glenwood'. Thus far, if she is in this land, I do not know of it." Yet she still intends to search. That much is plain as day.

The sudden appearance of the turtle-like creature is met with some consternation and puzzlement but--

Strife joins in, attempting to help strike back against the falling masonry if piece by piece but--

Amaterasu leaps for it. In midflight, so to speak, Isolde speaks to her. Amaterasu makes no response -- verbally. Her attention -- honed on her next step -- flickers Isolde's way. Just a fraction, well-afforded. Then starts -- again, minute -- when Isolde presses her cheek to her own.

The whistle rings out after, alerting the milling townsfolk to the looming danger. Those able to scatter, as fast as their legs can carry them. The rest cower beneath Trask's might.

She lands, if a bit heavily atop the roof, setting Isolde down soon after.

"'Kind', am I?" she murmurs, watching as the tower falls. ...Upon Trask.

When it does, it does so mightily. Anyone even somewhat close to it when it lands will feel the aftershock as it rolls through the streets. Even the structure of this house shudders.

"...Ah," Amateras says after a moment, regarding Isolde. "You do not see."

The good news is, nobody died -- shielded by the mighty turtle.

The bad news is, what a mess. There may be a person or two left a bit stunned, to boot, though nothing so horrendous they can't be carried to safety and treated for at worst, or simply walk off at best.

And now for the really bad news:

Here come more of the Garuda. Hanging around here may be unwise.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Trask is a thousand-year old beast by now, and the way it appears in definitively tired, sleepy form is not unlike an old dog who prefers to just curl up on the porch and sleep their days away at this point.

Trask looks down towards Riesenlied, seemingly unbothered by the tower that's crashed around it...

But the low croon of noise from its throat seems more sad than anything.

"I know it's hard..." Riesenlied whispers, aggrieved. "But... thank you for being here. For us."

There's a sudden -shriek-, however, as a Garuda comes flying below them. Riesenlied's eyes widen as she scans where it's headed. "The centre down there... there's a lot of refugees too!"

She looks to Trask again. "Please... just a bit more..."

The old turtle limply nods, then looks to the Garuda. Then in one mighty leap it--

--just attempts to go sit on the incoming bird.

DG: Riesenlied has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Getting the Drop on a Garauda.

<Pose Tracker> Amaterasu has posed.

"Here. It would be poor form to leave you up here," Amaterasu says, before she hoists Isolde up once more. And then leaps off the roof. When she sets her down, she does so swiftly, before leaving the woman behind to advance on what she sees as a potential tactic to use against a freewheeling Garuda.

There's a crane. A wooden crane, perhaps used in construction of a new tenement. But while it's wood, it's made of quite solid wood. If struck at the proper angle, perhaps it will be sufficient...

To then collapse the bridge. Ideally onto a Garuda.

Her armor shimmers about her forearms and hands. Amaterasu squares off against the crane, draws in a breath, and...

Drives one fist at a singular point.

DG: Amaterasu has used her Tool Shielding Module toward her party's challenge, Getting the Drop on a Garauda.

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

Honestly, Noeline isn't sure if it'd be quite appropriate - but as the rubble impacts against Trask's back, she joins in with Riesenlied in giving thanks, reaching up to pat the giant turtle on part of its shell as it covers the townsfolk in Riese's moment of need. "... good work," she offers it a quiet if rather wry smile, her voice undeniably thankful.

Trask lifts up in the wake of the hit, revealing a townsfolk that are confused and scared but undeniably alive; the other Hyadean puffs out a relieved breath, and such is her focus on the actual people that she doesn't realize at first exactly why the giant monster has hauled itself up into the air. Trying to catch her brain up, she follows the arc it will draw through the air--

--and suddenly understands as she catches a glimpse of tailfeathers disappearing just out of sight under the bridge beneath them. She starts forwards, glances back at Riesenlied, and then nods thinly. "I'm on it as well! Stay safe!" she calls behind her, already picking up speed as she flits forwards around the mass of townsfolk - no, through them entirely, simply disappearing at one end and reappearing at the other with the weight of her sword appearing heavy in her hands.

Her leap is shorter, smaller than Trask's - but then she's not aiming to fall down into the streets below. Instead, she offers herself the briefest of glimpses downwards to check the coast is clear, and then simply brings down her wrecking ball of a sword on the bridge itself. Gravity might almost be enough on its own to send the blow tearing the bridge apart - and if not, the Hyadean strength behind the sword should take care of the rest.

DG: Noeline has used her Tool Trouble toward her party's challenge, Getting the Drop on a Garauda.

<Pose Tracker> Isolde has posed.

"Don't I?" Isolde says, as she lands.

("I don't," she clarifies. "Don't expect me to. I get by but it's definitely a substitute.")

She puts the whistle away and then she turns herself around as she hears the screeching birds. "Ugh," she says, pursing her lips, and then her head turns towards Amaterasu and the other two beyond them. "How many of these damned birds are there? Give me an estimate here. Because I think I'm about to use my secret technique if you promise not to advertise it."

Isolde draws her blade again - but to twirl it once, and then stab the point into the ground. She breathes in and breathes out slowly, even as stone collapses, even as Noeline strikes with the fury of a thousand Monster Hunters, united. Isolde's head dips downwards -

And from the pommel of the sword, or thereabouts, comes a strange and darkling glow. It is like a bad distortion in the graphical representation of the sky; it looks alien, jagged, simplistic. The glitching blob of pure shadow snaps outwards, jiggling like an ink droplet-- and then moves to engulf a Garuda's head.

The Garuda probably isn't happy about that. "Sadly," she adds, "I can't hit it in the air, but perhaps we'll get lucky and it will hit something durable."


DG: Isolde has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Getting the Drop on a Garauda.

=========================<* Fiend Assault on Luca *>==========================
===============<* CHALLENGE - Getting the Drop on a Garauda *>================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Bridges are not uncommon in Luca. Because so much of the city is built        
 behind massive stone seawalls, the city has to go up sometimes. You find      
 yourself moving up a bridge now, which places you -- strangely enough --      
 /over/ one of those huge, swooping birds. A Garuda is careening down the      
 street below you, swooping at level with it, to get people.                   
                                                                               
 And it is about to fly under the bridge.                                      
                                                                               
 If you collapse the bridge -- or maybe some of the nearby facades or statues  
 -- at the right time (and quickly!), you could crush the Garuda before it     
 sweeps down onto innocents.                                                   
=Dungeon Conditions: Weaken, Injure, Tire=====================================
====================<* Fiend Assault on Luca - Round 5 *>=====================
=================< Results - Getting the Drop on a Garauda >==================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Riesenlied                          83 --(13)--> 96                Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Amaterasu                           78 --(3)--> 81                 Pass
Shielding Module                    1   Brute   Effects: Rally and Resilient  
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Isolde                              78 --(13)--> 91                Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Noeline                             88 --(3)--> 91                 Pass
Trouble                             2   Brute   Effects: Strengthen           
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Riesenlied                  50 --(20)--> 70                Pass
Conditions: Hesitate(1)|Injure(2)|Tire(2)|Weaken(2)
Effects: Resilient(1)|Strengthen(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================

DG: The party led by Riesenlied has passed this challenge! The party gained 20 exploration! If anyone needs to use party management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw. as posed. ====

The difficult thing about being a big, slow powerful being like Trask is that you don't get to just manipulate gravity and do a downwards butt-slam like you're down+B tilting, like a certain fire-breathing turtle.

Trask dives down and misses the Garuda narrowly; it shrieks as it careens onto the bridge, and Noeline along with the help of Trouble crashes the bridge solidly, forming fissures as Isolde summons the power of darkness. Is it the Satsui or Satsumaimo no Hadou? Who can say...?

"Ah--" Riesenlied watches the technique erupt as the two swordswomen cleave through, the job finished by Amaterasu's timely cleaving of a wooden crane that squishes the Garuda flat under masonry and woodwork.

Trask is left flailing, having revealed its biggest weakness:

It can't get back up on its feet after it's left on its back...!!

"I'm sorry... rest now," Riesenlied weakly whispers as she recalls it into her Beacon, coughing further. "I'm not sure how much more use I'll be. It's getting harder..."

The pyreflies are much more difficult to deal with than she expected.


DG: Amaterasu has drawn a new Challenge.

==========================<* Fiend Assault on Luca *>===========================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Sahuagin Launcher *>=======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 Fiends are not without their intelligence, though it is animalistic at best.  
 As you make your way out of the blitzball stadium and into the streets, you   
 find evidence of this. Some of the small, fish-scaled, humanoid fiends known  
 as Sahuagin have taken to the ramparts of the stadium, and are using huge     
 Luca Goers banners as...                                                      
                                                                               
 ...catapults?                                                                 
                                                                               
 With an inhuman, fish-y screech, a trio are launching their fellows down.     
 One smashes into a cart before you, its body exploding into pyreflies, but    
 reducing the cart to so much kindling. The next few launched Sahuagin,        
 however, have better aim -- and are hurtled right down at you!                
=Dungeon Conditions: Injure, Hesitate, Wound==================================

<Pose Tracker> Amaterasu has posed.

"There's currently the one close enough to hit," Amaterasu answers, sizing up her strike. "If we can bring it in closer that is." A noise that might just pass for amusement escapes her lips. "Noted. I will keep your secrets, human."

To the end of handling the Fiend: she waits for the perfect moment and delivers that sole strike at the crane.

"There," the Veruni soldier states, as the squashed Garuda evaporates into Pyreflies. "That should be--"

She turns then. Her gaze ratchets up to the sky even as a creature comes slamming down into the debris that had once been the base of the fallen crane.

Green eyes narrow at the sight unfolding before her.

The Sahaugin. Using the banners. To launch themselves. ...Like a slingshot?

The remaining few hoot and shriek and make gestures wholly unappropriate for general audiences. And they prepare to thus launch another of their number.

"Scatter!" Amaterasu orders, slamming a heeled boot against the pathway. Her faceplate slams closed.

Before launching /herself/ at the wall, as if her intend was to...

Oh no. She's trying it. Using her footwear, she's attempting to scale the stadium wall by leaps and bounds, to thus reach the miscreants flinging themselves as missiles... and thus end them.

Perhaps she's just given to the direct approach...

DG: Amaterasu has used her Tool All-Surface Boots toward her party's challenge, Sahuagin Launcher.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

If Riesenlied thought she was ill before, the sahuagin using themselves as ammunition from their catapults is really ratcheting it to another level. She winces and shivers as she scarce sees the blurred image of Amaterasu lunging up and to the wall--

Then a sahuagin explodes right in front of her and she gets a faceful of pyreflies. Fortunately she wasn't struck.

She's left huddling as she sweats coldly. "I'm sorry, Noeline, I can't... I can't bear it anymore... everything... is screaming at me..."

She winces as a second one is flung her way, but then

A R.O.U.N.D. shadow!!

... plops in front of her, shielding her from harm. It is... a familiar yellow bird, albeit, profoundly rotund and possessed of powerful girth. Riesenlied's eyes widen.

"Loccy...?"

Loccy turns and gives Riesenlied an 'ok' sign with its wing-fingers.

"I didn't know the cuccos made it here..." Riesenlied feverishly whimpers.

Loccy starts sweating again, especially as a nearby white chocobo starts staring at him with the worst stink-eye.

The fat cuccobo makes a gesture that strangely spells out 'fuggedaboutit!!!' as it-- very slowly starts bobbling up, up, up into the air in a game attempt to attract the sahuagin to its form and then also maybe squish the catapult by the end.

DG: You use your Tool All the Queen's Chocos against your party's Challenge, Sahuagin Launcher!

DG: Riesenlied has used her Tool All the Queen's Chocos toward her party's challenge, Sahuagin Launcher.

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

The pyreflies are massing around them as the Fiends continue to throw themselves - now literally - into the fray. Even Noeline can feel it, though it's much more muted for her as she relies upon her connection to the rings they share rather than a direct link to the Ley - but it's still a weight on the back of her mind, a feeling of disconnection and fuzz to her senses that she doesn't particularly enjoy.

"You have absolutely got to be kidding me," she mutters as she dodges two of the incoming Sahaguin, then in a moment of sheer pique lifts a foot in a spin. One of the last things anyone at the blitzball stadium expected to see tonight is a young woman dressed as some sort of summoner roundhouse kick a flying aquatic creature away, but that's exactly what they get, as Noeline puts her strength into the attack more to blow off her own steam than actually repel the invasion.

Heaving out a satisfied breath, she nods and crosses quickly to where Riesenlied is waiting, helping her up urgently with an arm under her shoulders. "Here-- I've got you," she promises as Loccy covers them both, her voice a little rough as she tilts her head and touches cheek-to-cheek with her partner. It gives them both a moment to breathe and recover, and then Noeline has hoisted the other Hyadean easily up into her arms, suddenly hovering at speed in the direction of safety - which is to say that her other silvery pod is staying out of sight in the folds of her dress, allowing itself to be used as a seat as it beeps cheerily.

As she passes, she joins in the squint on the poor cucco-bo, but huffs out a breath as she lets it go with a shake of her head. "We just need to get clear, and then get some time to recover," she adds to Riese, and-- clamps her mouth shut before she can think to add 'and hope this isn't Sin turning up'.

DG: Noeline has used her Tool Strife toward her party's challenge, Sahuagin Launcher.

<Pose Tracker> Isolde has posed.

Isolde smells the air.

"It smells like... chocobos," Isolde says, with wonder.

They are told to scatter. Amaterasu is leaping away from her. Isolde can hear the emotional strain pressing down on that woman, Riesenlied, and her heart pains her even as she raises up her blade and rests it on her shoulder.

Objects strike down. That much is clear to her. Which suggests, Isolde thinks, that there's something striking down around them, because they sound damnably like the sahaguin from before. But where are they? She seems to turn her head to face all directions, but (understandably) she can't tell from where they come.

Why is she standing still like this?

She crouches down instead. Indeed, afterwards, she rolls onto her back and says, diffidently, "ugh," before 'dropping' her sword and sprawling out. Playing dead? There is more than that. In her hand closest to her mouth, there is that whistle.

And then Isolde blows a rising and agonizingly painful TONE into it that just scrapes up the scale like a rippling sense of fingernails on chalkboards--!!

Hopefully it will do worse for the Fiends than for their allies. Of course, it may disturb them just enough for Amaterasu to make short work of them.


DG: Isolde has used her Tool Enigmatic Whistle toward her party's challenge, Sahuagin Launcher.

==========================<* Fiend Assault on Luca *>===========================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Sahuagin Launcher *>=======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 Fiends are not without their intelligence, though it is animalistic at best.  
 As you make your way out of the blitzball stadium and into the streets, you   
 find evidence of this. Some of the small, fish-scaled, humanoid fiends known  
 as Sahuagin have taken to the ramparts of the stadium, and are using huge     
 Luca Goers banners as...                                                      
                                                                               
 ...catapults?                                                                 
                                                                               
 With an inhuman, fish-y screech, a trio are launching their fellows down.     
 One smashes into a cart before you, its body exploding into pyreflies, but    
 reducing the cart to so much kindling. The next few launched Sahuagin,        
 however, have better aim -- and are hurtled right down at you!                
=Dungeon Conditions: Injure, Hesitate, Wound==================================
=====================<* Fiend Assault on Luca - Round 6 *>======================
========================< Results - Sahuagin Launcher >=========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Riesenlied                          96 --(0)--> 96                 Pass
All the Queen's Chocos              3   Agility Effects: Fanfare              
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Amaterasu                           81 --(0)--> 81                 Pass
All-Surface Boots                   2   Agility Effects: Quicken              
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Isolde                              91 --(0)--> 91                 Fail
Enigmatic Whistle                   2   Agility Effects: Quicken              
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Noeline                             91 --(0)--> 91                 Pass
Strife                              1   Agility Effects: Cleanse              
-----------------------------------< Party >------------------------------------
Leader: Riesenlied                  70 --(20)--> 90                Pass
Conditions: Hesitate(2)|Injure(2)|Tire(1)|Weaken(1)|Wound(2)
Effects: Cleanse|Quicken(1)
===============================< Dream Chasers >================================

DG: The party led by Riesenlied has passed this challenge! The party gained 20 exploration! If anyone needs to use party management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.

DG: Riesenlied has drawn a new Challenge.

=========================<* Fiend Assault on Luca *>==========================
=====================<* CHALLENGE - Nothing Is Sacred *>======================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 3          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 You have finally arrived at safety: the Crusader chapterhouse. Crusaders are  
 gathered outside it -- and you manage to cross the perimeter, and a massive   
 statue of the recent High Summoner, Lord Braska. There, a young man with      
 black hair and a bandana greets you. "Hurry inside! We're tending to the      
 wounded there. Luzzu is out there, but--"                                     
                                                                               
 There is a deafening screech. A Garuda sweeps over your heads, but seems      
 intent on going for someone else... but it slams into the statue of Lord      
 Braska. It crashes over, slamming down before the entrance to the             
 chapterhouse. The citizens fleeing draw to a stop.                            
                                                                               
 And roars echo -- as a trio of the huge, armored things known as Vouivres     
 leap down, flame dancing over their mouths. The young Crusader steps          
 forward, along with several of his comrades. He looks to you.                 
                                                                               
 "I hate to say it... but break that statue of Lord Braska apart, and get      
 everyone inside!" he calls out, before running towards the lizards. "We'll    
 hold them off!"                                                               
=Dungeon Conditions: Weaken, Overzealous======================================

<Pose Tracker> Amaterasu has posed.

Noeline and Riesenlied, with Strife's help, are able to zip handly out of the way of further incoming biohazard-like bombs. But-- what about the other people down here? Is there some way to put a stop to this for good?

Short answer: yes.

A ringing tone scrapes its way through the air, reaching even, yes, the Fiends atop the rim of the stadium. They cease for the moment launching themselves down at the streets below. It buys them all some time.

And at length, Amaterasu makes her way up to the rim of the stadium walls. She is joined by -- in an appearance that prompts her to stop and /briefly/ afford the bird a moment of her attention -- Loccy the Cucco(??). Loccy proves to have no love for the Fiends, either.

...Suffice to say, the Sahaugin soon aren't in much shape to bother /anyone/ anymore.

Descent proves the trickier part of her stunt. Using what buildings she can reach -- and, possibly, the absorption of her armor -- she makes her way back down.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riesenlied feels herself being lifted; she knows instinctively it's Noeline, more through the connection they have in their rings than sight right now. She quietly nods to say, "Thank you..." as she feels herself being lifted and moved through space, likely thanks to Strife.

Finally, they arrive at the chapterhouse of the Crusaders, though Riesenlied's eyes widen as they see a trio of four-legged Dragons marching towards their location.

"Hurry inside!" cries a young Crusader. "We're tending to the wounded. Luzzu is still out, but--"

A Garuda screeches, as it rams into the statue of Lord Braska and bars their path aside. "There's no time... I hate to say it, but we need to break that statue and get inside...!"

Riesenlied's head lulls at this point, as she stares towards the dragons, to Amaterasu and Isolde, then Noeline. "Mm--"

At least a fat cuccobo (??) is flying over them in a vain attempt to distract the Vouivres...

DG: Riesenlied has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Nothing Is Sacred.

<Pose Tracker> Amaterasu has posed.

The landing could have gone better.

The exertions today have put strain on her armor -- she can feel it. She will need to investigate later; in a place like this, tending to her gear is essential because she will receive no backups. But everything seems, at least, functional enough. She should be able to press on without risking serious harm.

It seems that a chance to regroup and undertake repairs is at hand, at last. But--

They come in from the skies. The Sahaugin are a menace, but the Garuda are an actual hazard. "Tch," Amaterasu hisses, narrowing her eyes. "So that's how it is?"

She exhales a breath, focusing now. Ghostly whisps swirl up around her ankles, legs. Form hard plates about her body as if to mimic armor, translucently. And sink down into her flesh. Her armor plating shines next. There. Together, this will be enough.

"I'll push," she says taking up position at the base of the statue. "Join me or keep them away!"

DG: Amaterasu has used her Tool Shielding Module toward her party's challenge, Nothing Is Sacred.

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

Noeline ducks her head, spurring Strife forwards; she can sense the creatures bearing down on them from behind, but pays them as little heed as possible as she maneuvers Riesenlied in her arms, hunkering down ready to simply sweep inside the chapterhouse. Of course, that plan goes awry before she can even enact it as the statue comes crashing down, but--

--she motions with a hand, and a second silver-and-yellow sphere goes flying over her shoulder, much faster as it comes in on the statue. It looks for all the world like a little chocobo, if little chocobos had distinctly spurious body shapes; a simple sphere as its body and head combined, with two wings flapping much too slowly to match its speed and a gigantic beak that looks like it was crafted out of paper. It has no legs, and a suspiciously bright backside that looks more like an advanced engine's glow than a healthy sheen on its coat.

But, luckily, it's much too fast for anyone to pick up on that for long, especially given the way it goes careening towards the statue - intending to break it apart through sheer gumption and velocity. The eager whistle it makes dopplers slightly as it shoots past.

DG: Noeline has used her Tool Trouble toward her party's challenge, Nothing Is Sacred.

<Pose Tracker> Isolde has posed.

Moccy, your sacuccorifice will be not be in vain.

Isolde gets off the street when she hears Amaterasu bang her way down. She runs closer, moving nearer to the form of Riesenlied, others are crying out. A Garuda is slamming into a statue. Amaterasu is smashing -

Aha.

Isolde whips out her blade and twirls round, standing, as it were, guard. This may not be the ideal form of guardswoman but you take what you can get.


DG: Isolde has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Nothing Is Sacred.

=========================<* Fiend Assault on Luca *>==========================
=====================<* CHALLENGE - Nothing Is Sacred *>======================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 3          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 You have finally arrived at safety: the Crusader chapterhouse. Crusaders are  
 gathered outside it -- and you manage to cross the perimeter, and a massive   
 statue of the recent High Summoner, Lord Braska. There, a young man with      
 black hair and a bandana greets you. "Hurry inside! We're tending to the      
 wounded there. Luzzu is out there, but--"                                     
                                                                               
 There is a deafening screech. A Garuda sweeps over your heads, but seems      
 intent on going for someone else... but it slams into the statue of Lord      
 Braska. It crashes over, slamming down before the entrance to the             
 chapterhouse. The citizens fleeing draw to a stop.                            
                                                                               
 And roars echo -- as a trio of the huge, armored things known as Vouivres     
 leap down, flame dancing over their mouths. The young Crusader steps          
 forward, along with several of his comrades. He looks to you.                 
                                                                               
 "I hate to say it... but break that statue of Lord Braska apart, and get      
 everyone inside!" he calls out, before running towards the lizards. "We'll    
 hold them off!"                                                               
=Dungeon Conditions: Weaken, Overzealous======================================
====================<* Fiend Assault on Luca - Round 7 *>=====================
=======================< Results - Nothing Is Sacred >========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Riesenlied                          96 --(100)--> 196              Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Amaterasu                           81 --(100)--> 181              Fail
Shielding Module                    1   Brute   Effects: Rally and Resilient  
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Isolde                              91 --(100)--> 191              Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Noeline                             91 --(100)--> 191              Pass
Trouble                             2   Brute   Effects: Strengthen           
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Riesenlied                  90 --(10)--> 100               Fail
Conditions: Hesitate(1)|Overzealous(2)|Weaken(2)
Effects: Resilient(1)|Strengthen(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================

DG: Riesenlied is too exhausted to continue!

DG: Amaterasu is too exhausted to continue!

DG: Isolde is too exhausted to continue!

DG: Noeline is too exhausted to continue!

DG: You have overcome the dungeon's trials! This run is a success!

DG: The party led by Riesenlied has successfully explored Fiend Assault on Luca!

=========================<* Fiend Assault on Luca *>==========================
=============<* CHALLENGE - O'aka Donation - War Profiteering! *>=============
|Type: Discovery   |Dungeon Ability: Conclusion|Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 With the Garudas and the shattered statue of Lord Braska cleared, you are     
 ushered into the Crusaders' chapterhouse. There, you find a red-haired        
 merchant. He looks at you for a moment. "Need a potion? It's--" He starts to  
 say the standard price of 75 gil. And then, O'aka has a dawning realization,  
 and a slow, capitalistic smile spreads across his face. "...200 gil."         
                                                                               
 BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Hj3U18FHgQ                              
                                                                               
 Please visit the following wiki page and update the current... er...          
 donation...?                                                                  
  https://dreamchasers.space/O7aka_Support_Fund                                
=Dungeon Conditions: Bad Luck=================================================

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

The effort is harrowing and too close for anyone's liking; but between Amaterasu pushing her armour to its limits, and Trouble the Mecha-Chocobo (aww) bonking at its highest speeds, it feels like the statue of Lord Braska has decided to bless their efforts and crumbles -- enough for everyone to duck on inside and narrowly avoid being Vouivred.

Riesenlied coughs in triplicate as she hunches over the support Noeline's giving her; she's looking so ill that she doesn't even recognise the merchant pausing to look over them, a very slow grin coming across his face.

"Lass there looks like hell warmed over! A potion for 200 gil...?"

He pauses as a fat cuccobo gives him a death stare, along with a white chocobo, and a tiny Trouble-chocobo.

Outside the window, Trask peeks in too.

"W-what's with this menagerie of round animals...?"

<Pose Tracker> Isolde has posed.

"Oh, they've been hanging around," Isolde says immediately.

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

Noeline lifts Riesenlied from on top of Strife, and the little robot is quick to slip away someplace where awkward questions around it can't be asked. For her part, Noeline heaves out a rather annoyed sigh as she hefts the blonde in her arms, and grimaces as she fixes O'aka with a frown. "... I accept - this once, at the very least. Don't think I don't know what you're doing, elevating the price that much."